Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Heart of Control Issues

What do you think of when you hear the term “control freak”?
Someone who’s demanding?

In my last post, I shared about the control freak in me. The Bible has another word for the control freak. Proud.

While it may not be 100% of the time, the desire for control generally stems from pride. I think I can control things better than God.

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord.’” Jer. 17:5

There’s a correlation in this passage—trusting in man or self leads to a heart that turns away from the Lord. In Jeremiah 17:6, the results of trusting in self are described as leading to dryness and deadness, like a plant in the wilderness.

Who is my trust in when I try to completely control my life? When I worry that control is taken away from me? Ultimately, it’s in myself and how I can handle my circumstances, or it’s in other people and how they treat me. Either way, my battle for control shows that my hope and trust is not in God.

Situations may be very difficult. I'm not suggesting that we stuff the difficulties of life to the back of our brains and just "trust God". But as Martyn Lloyd-Jones wisely explains,
"...anything that comes across our path and puts us in difficulty, at once shows whether we believe in Him and trust in Him, by our response and reaction to it." (from the book, Spiritual Depression)

At this point I can ask, what is the response of my heart? Is it displaying trust in God, or myself?

It’s unfortunate that I would let my own desires and feelings of control keep me from turning to the only One who has control—God. But it’s not only unfortunate, it’s sinful. I know, theologically, that God has all power, that He is sovereign. But sometimes I live more like a practical atheist—as though God isn’t even there.

I need to humble myself before God and recognize my inadequacies, my feebleness, my smallness compared to Him. I need to entrust myself to Him, because He has all power and control. I need to purposely think on things that are true and right (Phil. 4:8), and take my thoughts captive so that I do not dwell on my lack of control, but on God's ultimate control. As I see God and His greatness, I can humbly and willingly submit to His perfect plan, even when it contradicts my own.


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